Ethical issues concerning pain and suffering of animals are necessarily a consideration when it comes to killing “pest” or “feral” species in Australia. Within a continent where there are no large predators, many introduced animal species such as rabbits, foxes, horses, donkeys, camels, goats, and mice have been able to thrive, competing with the interests of farmers and graziers, and livestock and food production. These species, thus, gain the label of “pest.” Many methods now exist to kill these species and, consequently, ethical issues arise concerning the possible pain and suffering caused as a direct result of these methods. Yet within government and scientific communities, ethical issues are reduced to a secondary consideration without serious debate or contention. Ethical issues appear to be at odds with scientific agendas. How can environmental ethics be incorporated as part of science-based decision making that appeals to objectivity and scientific evidence? Within educational institutions as well, the same dilemma exists: How can ethical issues be addressed within the science curriculum and in the classroom? A greater understanding of various perspectives on the subject of environmental ethics and the value positions advocated by proponents of these perspectives may help teachers consider ways of handling such issues in the science classroom.
Published online: 5 Oct 2001
Field of Research
130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy